Avoiding Winter Slips and Falls

Winter in Princeton often means periods of icy or snowy weather, and every storm brings a unique set of hazardous conditions.  As Facilities Departments work diligently to remove snow and ice from roads, parking lots, walkways and building entrances, you still may encounter slippery surfaces while walking around campus.

The Pedestrian Safety Committee offers the following tips for avoiding slips and falls during this winter season:

  • Select appropriate footwear.  There is no single shoe sole material that is perfect under all conditions; however, footwear with rubber or neoprene composite soles provides better traction on ice and snow than leather or plastic.
  • Think about the best route to your destination and plan on a little extra time to get there.  Avoid rushing, taking shortcuts over snow piles or traversing areas where snow or ice removal is incomplete.
  • If you have no choice but to walk on a slippery surface, bend slightly forward and shorten your stride or shuffle your feet for better stability.
  • Many slips and falls occur during entry or exit from vehicles.  Be particularly careful and hold on to the vehicle for support.
  • Observe caution when walking or driving around snow removal equipment.  They often come to sudden stops and the operator may have limited visibility.

When entering a building, be sure to:

  • Take advantage of floor mats to remove moisture from the soles of your shoes.  This will help protect you, as well as others who follow, from having to walk on wet or slippery surfaces.
  • Avoid walking on wet or slippery areas if possible.
  • Take responsibility for immediately reporting slippery conditions and fall hazards.

Report slippery conditions in University parking lots, walkways and building entrances to the Facilities Customer Service Center at extension 8-8000 from 7:30am-5:00pm. After hours, leave a message  on voice mail or email [email protected]. After hours, report immediate safety concerns to Public Safety at 8-1000.



Kelly States
Director, Campus Safety and Health

James McQuaid
Assistant Director, Occupational Safety